Friday, February 27, 2009

Vermont Community Energy Mobilization Project and a Recap

My gosh it's been a lot time since I posted anything here - over a month, in fact. 

I'll admit, part of my absence has been due to the new filtering system at the school combined with a shoddy internet connection at home, in addition to my own lack of motivation to post.  Which is not to say that there hasn't been anything interesting going on. So let's recap the last month or so. 
  • In my classes we did egg bungee jumping - the goal is to get the egg as close to the ground as possible without breaking (pictured above). 
  • My intern is two days into his soloing period with my largest class. 
  • I'm agreed to work with the Vermont Community Energy Mobilization (VCEM) project with my students (more on that later). 
  • I'm working with the Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP) to do some school energy auditing 
  • We had the Governor's Institute of Vermont Winter Weekend again. 
  • And now we're on break until next Wednesday (yay!) 
I think my body knows that it's vacation and plans to get sick then on purpose, which is fine with me ~ I'd rather be sick now than have to take time off from school. 

So the Vermont Community Energy Mobilization (VCEM) is a program put on by Efficiency Vermont where volunteers get trained (3 hrs worth) and then at a later date, like some Saturday, all the volunteers meet at some central location, Efficiency Vermont gives them a ton of materials and some housing assignments (they know you're coming), and off you go. You actually go to people's houses and install 
  • up to 5 CFLs per house 
  • a programmable thermostat
  • insulation for electric hot water heaters 
  • 6' of pipe insulation for hot water pipes  
  • low-flow shower heads and faucet attachments, etc. 
  • In addition, volunteers collect information about the house's foundation, attic insulation, refrigerator, as well as family's willingness to receive a call from Efficiency Vermont about those items. 
So the idea is to get students involved. Teams composed of 2 students (minimum) and 1 adult (minimum) could go do this work in people's homes. I've scheduled the training to take place during school hrs, but the volunteer days will almost certainly be on a Saturday, so how do I get students to show up on a Saturday? Offer it as an alternative to the Final Exam. Yep. This plus a write up about how much energy they saved and what it was like for them and BOOM! Done. Final is over. I had so many kids volunteering. This is going to be great.